Benefits of trees

The importance of trees to Ealing

The London Borough of Ealing is one of the greenest boroughs in London and the council is proud of the features that offer not only aesthetic and wildlife value but many environmental, economic and social benefits too.

A study into London Victoria’s Business Improvement District showed that their 1,200 trees helped to:

  • Remove 1.2 tonnes of pollutants from the air
  • Store 847 tonnes of carbon
  • Provide storm water attenuation for 112,400m3 of water.

 Ealing borough has over 24,000 street trees, 50,000 trees in parks, open spaces and cemeteries and thousands more in woodlands dotted throughout the borough. These trees enhance the quality of life for people in the borough and are an integral asset to urban living.

Environmental benefits

  • Trees help mitigate the risk of flooding as their leaves intercept rain water and return it to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation
  • Trees cool the urban environment and reduce the heat island effect during hot, dry, summer days.  Some 1,100 deaths per year are attributed to heat stress with temperature in cities often up to 9oC higher than in less built-up areas
  • Trees filter gaseous pollutants from the air and trap dust particles which are then washed to the ground by rain

Research has shown:

  • 1 in 7 people in the UK are affected by lung disease
  • The cost of air pollution to the country is estimated to be between £9 billion and £19 billion per year
  • 24,000 people are estimated to die as a result of air pollution per year

Biodiversity benefits

  • Trees provide habitat for wildlife. Veteran trees and those with dead wood and cavities are particularly valuable for bats, birds and invertebrates
  • The borough’s woodlands support a large number of insects, many of which are rare
  • Ealing’s extensive matrix of street tree planting is important as it creates links between parks and other open spaces, allowing wildlife to travel between sites

Economic benefits

  • The by-products of trees can be sold to create income or can provide savings on the purchase of timber, wood chip and mulch
  • The employment of specialist arboriculturists contributes to the wider economy
  • Tree-lined streets have been shown to increase residential property values by 5% to 18%
  • Trees indirectly promote the use of retail areas by creating an attractive environment for people to shop

Health and social benefits

  • Trees create a distinctive and beautiful landscape
  • They provide connection to the natural world for those who might otherwise not experience green space
  • Trees create space for relaxation which helps to provide relief from stress and enhance emotional wellbeing
  • Trees offer valuable shade and reduce the risk of skin cancer
  • They have been shown to speed up the recovery times of patients in hospital
  • Trees release scents and colours that can stimulate endorphins